(SAN FRANCISCO) — Embattled crypto executive Sam Bankman-Fried agreed on Monday to stop using Signal and other encrypted messaging apps as a condition of his release on bail, according to a letter his attorney filed with the court.
However, Bankman-Fried sought permission from the judge to use WhatsApp with monitoring software installed on his devices and to send ordinary texts.
Prosecutors had sought to limit how Bankman-Fried communicates while he is out on bail, citing concerns over possible efforts to influence potential witness testimony. According to his attorney, Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges stemming from the collapse of FTX, and the government resolved their dispute and proposed a jointly agreed-upon bail modification to the judge.
“The defendant shall not use any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application, including but not limited to Signal. The defendant shall be permitted to place voice calls, FaceTime calls, and Zoom audio and video calls, and use iMessage, SMS text message, email, and Facebook messenger,” the letter from defense attorney Marc Cohen said.
Bankman-Fried dropped his opposition to a ban on him reaching out to former FTX and Alameda Research employees after “the government exempted certain individuals from the proposed no-contact condition,” the letter said.
The letter did not specify which individuals were exempt.
Late last month, federal prosecutors wrote a letter to the judge in the case seeking new conditions of his release because they say Bankman-Fried made “recent attempts” to contact prospective witnesses in his criminal case.
“The imposition of these new conditions is justified in light of the nature of the case, as well as the defendant’s recent attempts to contact prospective witnesses,” assistant United States Attorney Danielle Sassoon wrote in the government’s letter.
“It has recently come to the Government’s attention that the defendant has been in direct communication with the current General Counsel of FTX US who may be a witness at trial, and who is represented by counsel,” the letter continued.
Bankman-Fried has been free on a $250 million bond after he was charged with fraud and conspiracy following the collapse of the crypto platform he founded, FTX.
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